California: Almond Harvest Picks Up Pace

Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending August 14, 2016.

WEATHER

An entirely dry week, as no measurable precipitation fell anywhere in the State. The early week brought some relief from the hot temperatures. Early in the week, highs were in the 70s-80s along the coast, 70s-80s in the mountains, 90s in the valley, and 90s-110s in the desert. Overnight lows were typically in the 30s-50s in the mountains, 50s-60s along the coast, although some of the locations in the coastal mountain ranges dropped into the 40s, 50s-60s in the valley, and 60s-80s in the desert.

Temperatures increased beginning on Thursday morning. By the weekend, highs were in the 70s-90s along the coast, 80s-90s in the mountains, 90s-100s across the valley, and 90s-110s in the desert. Some of the lower elevations in the mountains reached 100 degrees. Lows were 30s-50s in the mountains, 50s-60s along the coast, 60s-70s in the valley, and 60s-80s in the desert.

FIELD CROPS

In Tulare County, silage corn continued to be harvested. Sorghum silage was in various stages of development, with some heading out. Cotton continued to be irrigated and cultivated. Early planted fields were squaring, blooming, and some bolls were forming. Alfalfa was being irrigated, cut, and baled. Early black-eyed beans have completed their second flowering and were drying. However, the harvest was still about three weeks away.

FRUIT CROPS

In Tulare County, peaches, nectarines, and plums continued to be packed and exported to foreign and domestic markets.  Bosc, Rivermaid Red, and Asian pears were also being packed and shipped to domestic and foreign markets.  Table grapes were shipped to foreign and domestic markets.  Early varieties of pomegranates were being harvested. Persimmons were gaining size.  Pineapple quince was being packed and exported.

Valencia oranges were still being harvested and packed for the domestic market, as foreign exports have slowed. Re-greening continued to be a problem with the high temperatures.  Lemons were packed and shipped to domestic markets.

In Madera County, low sugar grapes were being harvested.

In Fresno County, the harvest of grapes for wine, raisin and table was ongoing..

NUT CROPS

The almond harvest has steadily increased throughout the State.  Stored almonds continued to be exported.  Stored pistachios were also exported.  Walnut orchards continued to be prepped for harvest, while stored nuts were still being exported.

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VEGETABLE CROPS

The processing tomato harvest continued throughout the State.

In Monterey County, smoke from wildfires impacted air quality and sunlight.  The higher moisture caused by less sun and higher particulate matter negatively affected lettuce mildew control.  Despite this problem, there was strong production for all lettuces, brassicas, and other leafy vegetables.  Onion, fennel, and leek harvests increased in the Salinas Valley.

In San Mateo County, the pea harvest continued.  Fall vegetable crops such as Brussels sprouts, sweet corn and pumpkins were growing well.

In Fresno County, the processing tomato harvest was about half complete with higher tonnages than usually reported in some areas.  There was also mold and rot reported in some fields waiting for harvest.  The carrot harvest continued with good quality and yield.  Growers also prepared for winter carrots.  Harvest of red and yellow Bell peppers and lettuce seed continued.  Anaheim and no-heat jalapeno peppers were planted for fall harvest.

In Tulare County, fall vegetables were planted.  Summer vegetables were harvested and sold domestically.  Zucchini, Italian squash, Bell peppers, tomatoes, sweet corn, eggplant and cucumbers were harvested for local stands and Farmers’ Markets.

LIVESTOCK

Summer weather increased the drying of rangeland forage. Rangeland quality was poor to fair at the lower elevations.  Feed costs for cattle remained high. New wells continued to be drilled, and many existing wells were drilled deeper due to the ever lowering water table. Sheep grazed on harvested alfalfa, small grain and fallow fields. Poor rangeland conditions required supplemental feeding of cattle.




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